The Rising Stars program is MLA’s member leadership development program. After running the Stars program three times in alternate years since 2010, the Rising Stars Committee, along with MLA staff members Kevin Baliozian and Barry Grant, is working to to turn this successful program into an annual, intensive leadership development program.
MLA needs strong leaders to guide efforts in sections, chapters, committees, and MLA as a whole. And MLA members, of course, need leadership skills to further their own careers. The new Rising Stars curriculum uses best practices in professional development and MLA’s growing expertise in education to support a more immersive Rising Stars program that achieves both these goals.
MLA has made a substantial commitment of resources, time, and leadership skills in developing the new program. In turn, it asks for a substantial commitment of time and energy from the new Stars. From May 2016 to May 2017, this year’s Rising Stars will dive into the literature of leadership, apply their learning in projects designed to improve MLA Sections and SIGS, learn about themselves as leaders, and develop leadership skills in communication, giving and receiving feedback, and other areas. They will learn about MLA, from its history, organizational structure, and governing documents to how it actually works, by critically observing how committees are run and decisions made.
The Rising Stars program is an investment in the future of MLA. As you know, the success of MLA depends hugely on the work, creativity, and skills of its members. The better prepared our members are to lead, the better MLA is at serving its members. We hope that parts of the Stars program will be models for other areas of member leadership training, for example for committee chair orientation and for training in leadership roles outside of MLA.
The Rising Stars Committee is very pleased to announce the names of this year’s Rising Stars: Phill Jo, Rachel Charlotte Lerner, Tony Nguyen, and Gregg Stevens. We are very excited that they were accepted from a number of applicants to be the first participants in a newly revised Rising Stars Program!
You’ll hear from the stars themselves in January in a collective Full Speed Ahead post on their individual projects to strengthen the role of MLA Sections and SIGs. Look for more about the Rising Stars program as it progresses throughout the year, and watch for information when the 2017-2018 stars application process is announced.
May the new stars shine brightly in the MLA firmament!